A very rare and unusual stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with orange chronograph hand, bracelet and box

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  • Manufacturer: Omega
    Year: 1967
    Reference No: ST 145.012-67 SP
    Movement No: 26'077'193
    Model Name: Speedmaster "Ultraman"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 321, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Omega bracelet stamped "516" to the endlinks, max length 225mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Omega deployant clasp stamped "1039" and "3 68"
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Omega fitted presentation box and Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with orange chronograph hand and its subsequent sale in Sweden on September 20, 1967

  • Catalogue Essay

    The decades immediately following World War II were marked by explosive technological growth, as global powers sought to strengthen their military and economic status. Wartime innovation led to incredible strides in the field of rocket science in particular and in 1955 the Soviet Union startled the world by sending the first man into space, Yuri Gagarin. The following years were marked by the Space Race: an escalating competition between the U.S. and the Soviet Union on who would conquer the next great frontier.

    Though stories of aliens had been part of folklore for centuries, stories of men defending Earth from alien invaders became more pervasive in popular culture once the idea of entering space became a reality. And thus, in the mid-1960s, Japanese director Eiji Tsuburaya (co-creator of the original Godzilla series) began writing what would become the Ultraman series. Tsuburaya used many of the leftover sets from Godzilla to create Ultraman, beginning in March 1966. Ultraman begins with an intergalactic being (Ultraman) accidentally colliding with and killing a member of Earth’s Science Special Search Party (SSSP), Shin Hayata. Feeling remorseful, Ultraman merges his own life force with Hayata’s and vows to defend Earth against any that would seek to threaten it. Ultraman lives within Hayata, who transforms into Ultraman when the need arises. While Hayata is a normal man, Ultraman is a 131 foot tall silver and red-orange creature. His crested head and large, intimidating eyes became instantly iconic, as did his orange and silver suit. In 1971, Tsuburaya’s son spearheaded the production of Ultraman Returns, where a different iteration of Ultraman – Ultraman Jack – returns to Earth and teams up with the Monster Attack Team (MAT). According to Omega, the producers of Ultraman Returns selected Omega’s "Moonwatch" as part of the Monster Attack Team’s monster fighting kit.

    As mankind was developing the technologies required to enter space, they were also testing the means of timing their efforts in that harsh environment. The Omega Speedmaster’s place in the Space Race is well-documented, particularly the reference 145.012-67 – it graced the wrists of astronauts on Apollo 11, Apollo 14, and Apollo-Soyuz. It was the last Speedmaster model to be fitted with the renowned caliber 321 and is set apart from its predecessors by its ‘SP’ (‘SP’ for “Spécial Poussoirs” or “special pushers”) that increased water resistance. Though it is not known why a selection of the reference 145.012-67 were fitted with an orange chronograph hand – legibility is one theory – it is estimated that less than fifty correct examples exist with this bold detail. As it is quite easy to mount an orange hand on a standard example of the reference - assuming one has the hand - it is highly important for Ultraman pieces to be certified by Omega, who has the record of which specimens were fitted with the orange hand, these watches typically falling within a certain serial number range - between 26’076’XXX and 26’079’XXX

    With the introduction in the summer of 2018 of the immensely successful Speedy Tuesday Ultraman limited edition, interest in vintage Ultraman Speedmasters has dramatically increased. The present lot, preserved in superb condition, is a remarkable opportunity for the collector of unusual and rare vintage pieces to own one of the fabled Ultraman Speedmaster.

  • Maker Bio

    Omega

    Swiss • 1848

    Omega's rich history begins with its founder, Louis Brandt, who established the firm in 1848 in La Chaux de Fonds. In 1903, the company changed its name to Omega, becoming the only watch brand in history to have been named after one its own movements. A full-fledged manufacturer of highly accurate, affordable and reliable watches, its sterling reputation enabled them to be chosen as the first watch company to time the Olympic Games beginning in 1932. Its continued focus on precision and reliability ultimately led their Speedmaster chronograph wristwatch to be chosen by NASA in 1965 — the first watch worn on the moon.

    Key models sought-after by collectors include their first, oversized water-resistant chronograph — the reference 2077, early Speedmaster models such as the CK 2915 and 2998, military-issued versions of the Seamaster and oversized chronometer models such as those fitted with their prestigious caliber 30T2Rg.

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161

Omega

Ref. ST 145.012-67 SP
A very rare and unusual stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with orange chronograph hand, bracelet and box

1967
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

Estimate
CHF20,000 - 30,000 
€18,700-28,000
$21,300-31,900

sold for CHF40,000

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: XI

Geneva Auction 27 - 28 June 2020